Care center employees get layoff notices |

Care center employees get layoff notices

Sheila Gardner

Layoff notices have been issued to the 100 employees of Cottonwood Care Center, but the Gardnerville facility’s new manager anticipates the workers will be rehired.

“Although some of the salaries and benefits may change slightly, we anticipate that most employees will be offered reemployment with Premier Care Health Services,” said David Holberg, Premier Care administrator.

“We believe the change in ownership will have minimal impact on the staff,” he said.

Premier Care Health Services of Prescott, Ariz. is negotiating a lease for the operation of Cottonwood with Carson-Tahoe Hospital.

Rosemary Hines, C-TH human resources director, said Friday that ongoing meetings had been held with the Cottonwood staff to advise them of the layoffs and the change in management.

“We had a staff meeting yesterday (Thursday) to let them know this was happening,” Hines said.

Carson-Tahoe Hospital will retain ownership of the care facility, but Premier Care will take over management.

Hines said if negotiations are successful, the new contract will be in effect Aug. 1.

Under federal law, the hospital is obligated to give 60 days notice to employees that they will be permanently laid off as employees of Carson-Tahoe hospital. The notice gives workers time to seek alternate employment, retraining or apply for employment with Premier Care Health Services, Hines explained.

Cottonwood Care employees will not be allowed to displace Carson-Tahoe Hospital employees, however, Hines said they are encouraged to apply for vacancies for which they are qualified.

Cottonwood administrator Karen Armstrong said Friday that officials have been sharing information with employees for several weeks and the transition seems to be going well.

“Nothing came as a surprise,” she said.

“I think it’s a real good move,” Armstrong said. “I’m happy they could work out this transition with the hospital and we’ll still be able to give continued service to the Carson Valley. It’s very important to have a facility like this here.”

She said employees will be able to retain their dates of hire.

Cottonwood Care Center currently has 95 residents, Armstrong said. It is a skilled nursing facility for the elderly, or patients who may need rehabilitation. The facility also offers respite care and accepts Medicare and some Veterans’ Administration patients.